Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Rod Stewart ~ Body Wishes

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: pop rock, blues-rock
Label: Warner Brothers
Year: 1983
Home: n/a

Members: Rod Stewart ~ vocals
Jim Cregan ~ guitar/b. vocals
Robin LeMesurier ~ guitar
Jay Davis ~ bass/b. vocals
Tony Brock ~ drums/b. vocals
Kevin Savigar ~ keyboards

Additional: Tommy Vig ~ percussion
Jimmy Zavala ~ saxophone/harmonica


It's not as bad as some critics have written or one might expect. It's better than Camoflauge that would come the following year & in my quest to discover RS's 80's output that's saying a lot. But, unless one really wants a few obscure hits to add to their RS collection its better to just avoid most of his 80's output & pretend it didn't happen. Considering how much & how often he's reinvented himself post-Unplugged & Seated you know he's pushing dirt over the past too. The album cover is as uncreative as it gets & the music isn't much better. The problem is that it's too much imitative. Too many songs sound like a producer was mining RS's back catalog & trying to duplicate hits with sound-a-like riffs. There's bluesy riffs with harmonica included that could come out of RS's old band the Faces & one can imagine bandmate turned Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood on guitar (i.e. "Dancin' Alone"). Speaking of Wood, what's strangely fascinating is how many songs sound like they came from sessions from the Rolling Stones Emotional Rescue & Undercover or Dirty Work, all unfocused cornucopias, except for the tone of RS's voice this could be the fourth in that line-up of less than stellar Stones albums. The difference is the heavy pop sheen that glides over much of the music that has never plagued the Stones. The fusion of Stones guitars & pop does not make for a good time & one wonders how much of this is RS's creativity & how much of it is a producer's tone? But, if this odd fusion wasn't enough half the album flirts with an array of musical styles, as if RS didn't know what would work so he was going to try everything from AM radio pop to Tina Turner-esque dance beats to world beat. Minus the experiments & the Stones-esque songs just continue to prove that RS's strength is in the blues not pop ballads ... it's too bad he wasn't paying attention to his strengths as he sang his way through the 80's with throwaway pop ballad over throwaway pop ballad. It's almost luck that any became certified hits. The horn lines & emphasis on the dance beat keeps the album stuck in an 80's mode for any nostalgia fans looking for flashback kicks. What makes this album interesting is if one follows the progression of RS's music in the 80's it becomes obvious where he is going & what he is trying to do & what he would climax with via 1991's Vegabond Heart, particularly here as "Satisfied" could be a forefather to "Rhythm Of My Heart" with its simple synth lines. It's also the most uncluttered track on the album, but as uninspired as the rest. Instead of sticking to his roots during the 80's, RS didn't want to get lost in the shuffle & tried to mold his music to the charts. He'd had a hit doing that with disco with "Do You Think I'm Sexy", but that was almost a fluke not success in imitation to build a career on. By the time he'd finally get the solid hits he was looking for the 80's were over. Smooth pop rock music doesn't come easy & it's easy to get it wrong & RS shows us how easy it is to do just that. Three singles came off the album ("Baby Jane", "What Am I Gonna Do (I'm So in Love With You)", "Sweet Surrender") but few probably remember any of them now.

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